The service crew is the front line of any restaurant. A restaurant is nothing without a good crew. It starts with flashing smiles, whether the place is relaxed or chaotic. This is just one of the many critical factors that affect the quality of service. It creates a direct impression that if the crew is great, the food is great, and the restaurant is great. But it takes more than a smile to provide good customer service. There are specific standards which the crew should adhere to in order to ascertain customers leave happy and wanting to return.
What are these standards?
Aside from the warm welcome, the staff should also know where to position itself when facing a customer. They should know that people are different from each other. Some require a bit more space (like a couple on a first date), others require a bit more attention (someone trying to impress their in-laws).
Making sure things are usable. Don’t you hate it when you settle down and see that your table is uneven? Chairs that are not well grounded that make you think you are going to spill your wine, get dirty and simply sets a bad tone.. Remember that customers dine out to have a great time, not to have a disastrous dining experience or be reminded that they need to go home and do dishes. If you could fix things right before your customer reaches the table, do it. Do any minor fixing to make the customer feel comfortable in their preferred nook.
Once the customer settles and orders the meal, the crew should be able to assist him/her in any minor things he/she needs on the table while waiting. Start by offering a glass of water or other treats/appetizers (bread, olives…small freebies go a long way). When you drop off these little treats, it’s the perfect time to offer specials and to ask if your guests have any allergies or questions about the menu. It’s a great way of welcoming the guests and making them feel the place is like their home. Asking about allergies/preferences also makes you look professional.
Do not ignore any customer signals, regardless of whose table it is. Try to learn every signal a customer gives, may it be for a menu, water, or bill. A customer appreciates a quick response from the service crew. Remember, if they leave unsatisfied they may never come back…future income, lost.
Know what is available. One thing that bugs me when I’m at a restaurant is placing my order and ten minutes later, finding out they are out of an ingredient. “Sorry, the meal you ordered is not available”is just something I don’t want to hear ten minutes after. The service crew should know what’s in stock and what is not. Right from the beginning, if they are hesitant about something, instead of promptly getting our orders, they should say something like, “That has been a very popular dish tonight, let me check if we still have the Branzino.”It is all about the wording and timing.
A customer appreciates a service crew that doesn’t screw up orders. Sometimes, when there are a lot of people coming in at a restaurant, the waiter has a tendency to not confirm the orders, or worst, ignore details of the meal ordered, before heading backto the kitchen. sometimes, the kitchen makes the mistake. The server takes the brunt even when it was not his/her fault. Always check twice to make sure the right dishes are being prepared and brought out to your clients.
Never call a customer “dude or lady.”Always address them politely regardless of their physical appearance or way of dress. Treat each customer as if he/she is the most important person for the day. Being consistent is always a key to a great customer service. Never touch a customer. When something is spilled over their clothing, instantly offer anything to keep it dry or wipe it off. Have some sense of privacy and propriety.
Besides the quality of service expected from the crew, their personality and character count. A happy disposition is always an admirable trait of a good service crew. Clothes are clean, his/her looks are spic and span, well kempt hair, nails are clean, and confident in rendering services to their customers. They should never be impolite or discourteous even if the customer rudely complains of their food and service, and would justsay, “excuse me, I’ll settle this for your benefit”
A service crew is also deserving of a customer’s respect in return of the quality of service they provide. There’s always a better way to resolve issues in the restaurant between the customer and the service crew. If you feel that someone is being disrespectful, ask your manager how they feel it should be handled. After all; you deserve respect as well.
Thank you for coming and have a nice day!